Monday, October 31, 2011

Veteran Support Occupy

Since many veterans are getting as screwed, if not worse, than the rest of the 99%, it's not surprising to see them stepping up.   From Occupy Veterans Movement Growing Across U.S.:
"For veterans especially, health care is paramount, yet is always on the table to be cut," Jenkins said in an interview with ABC News. "Vets in this movement don't want to fight anymore. We want to make peace and live peaceably. We shouldn't have to fight for our benefits, and if vets are fighting for their benefits then it can't be any better for nonvets.
"What do you think is going to happen in 2012 after everyone gets home from Iraq? No jobs, no benefits. This will not be a good scene," Jenkins continued. "I imagine the suicide rate will climb, and sadly, I think that some people in this country don't feel any responsibility for that."
It seems being used, abused and discarded, like the Vietnam (not to mention WWI) veterans, does not sound so appealing.  It is also a good sign that they are willing to stand up to pigs.  (Of course, all police are not pigs, some even support Occupy, but the human garbage that shot Scott Olsen in Oakland certainly qualifies.) Although I don't think the Constitution, upon which they swore, has any remaining functional use, I respect their willingness to stand up for its ideals.  In this spirit, I have placed the little banner in the upper right corner of this blog.

This development will prove worrisome to reactionaries.  Perhaps, whilst in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military industrial complex should have pushed more dope to break them?

Fetishism

Only in America could fetishism become an ideology.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dehumanization

Dehumanization is facilitated by arrogance.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Laws

Laws are undermined by the stupidity of the makers.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Computer Models are Always Wrong

The territory is not the map, so it should not be surprising that computer models are always wrong.  It's pretty intuitive (at least to those of us who don't live in a virtual world.)  But for those that do, someone has taken the time to prove it as described in Why Economic Models Are Always Wrong.

So economic models are always wrong.  Big shock there.  It also means that other sophisticated computer models are always wrong as well.  So the next time you hear that computer models predict something, as they say, "don't believe the hype."

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Too Many Males

I've been saying for years that the one child policy of China and male-centric societies like India, combined with selective abortions of females, would result in severe social consequences in the 21st century.  I grew up in a rural town with a lopsided male/female ratio and I've seen the results.  It isn't pretty, but at least I could move a hundred miles to the nearest city.

From The unstable future of a world full of men:
As the global population hits seven billion, experts are warning that skewed gender ratios could fuel the emergence of volatile “bachelor nations” driven by an aggressive competition for brides.
The precise consequences of what French population expert Christophe Guilmoto calls the “alarming demographic masculinisation” of countries such as India and China as the result of sex-selective abortion remain unclear.
But many demographers believe the resulting shortage of adult women over the next 50 years will have as deep and pervasive an impact as climate change.
Ugly.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Unpopular

In a mass media capitalist society, as often noted, the unpopular is unprofitable.  Niche markets exist, but the real money comes from mass appeal.  Unsurprisingly, mass appeal is not as important as mass tolerance.  Accepted backdrops, which develop into verbal worlds, are exploitable for Maximum Advantage in all Things.  As the same response is promoted on all occasions, by nature (or anti-nature if you prefer) all responses are reactive and mediocre.  Even fear may be stretched and strangled.  The latest terror alert ceases to have meaning.  One would think a failing propaganda campaign would cease in favor of a different tact.  It often does not.  Those caught in their own verbal world have abandoned reality.  Who is to say what is reality?  A kick in the teeth!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What Planet?

Only 23% trust U.S. financial system: poll.  So what the hell is wrong with the other 23%?!?  On what planet do they reside?

Monday, October 24, 2011

No Credibility

It appears that the announcement that the US is leaving Iraq has no credibility.  When you lie so often, after a time, nothing is believed.  Maybe Bush and Obama should have read (or in the case of the former had read to him) the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cratering

Cratering can be managed.   Plan the work, then work the plan.  What we get: plan the work, then do nothing.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Hyperbole

Hyperbole is fun!

Keep it up, Geezers!

The stupid geezers behind what is left of the "Tea Party" movement that has since become co-opted by the slimy Republican Party are showing their desperation. They obviously know they do not represent the future, but instead of trying to do something about it they piss and moan. Rather than find some commonality with people whom they would generally agree on the larger symptoms of systemic disease, they would rather distance and isolate themselves further in a self-imposed ghetto. The hilarious thing is the contradictions in their criticism of OWS. They will claim that it is more interested in anarchy, but at the same time believe in "big government." It's kind of hard to see how these two extremes can coexist.  From Wall St. Protest Isn’t Like Ours, Tea Party Says:
“They seem to be more in favor of anarchy than they are in favor of working out problems through the Constitution,” Jenny Beth Martin, a co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, said about the Occupy forces.
 “We have worked very hard to be respectful of the laws,” she said in an interview. “We protest and complain, but we’re also trying to work within the system. It’s frustrating to watch people who have an utter lack of respect for our form of government.”
Tea Party Patriots issued a statement last week titled, “Occupy Wall Street? They’re No Tea Partiers.” Tea Party supporters, it argued, were the ones who “have stood firmly on principle.”
 “They believe freedom from government allows entrepreneurs to try new things, see what works and discard what doesn’t,” it continued. “They don’t believe corporations are inherently evil, or that bankers should be beheaded.”
By contrast, it portrayed Occupy protesters as freeloaders, or would-be freeloaders: “Those occupying Wall Street and other cities, when they are intelligible, want less of what made America great and more of what is damaging to America: a bigger more powerful government to come in and take care of them so they don’t have to work like the rest of us who pay our bills.”
So which is it?  Granted a truly leaderless movement (which truly scares authoritarians) will have such contradictions, but this propaganda isn't even interesting.  (The Constitution is a dead document, so why would it be respected is besides the point.)  It shows why their generation has done such a great job of destroying America: they believe what they are saying even if it makes no sense compared with what they just said.  Keep it up, geezers!  Your doing a heck of a job...

(It's also amusing to note that capitalists, whose feet they lick, don't feel an obligation to pay their bills either--and for real as well.)

(Another Maximum Advantage Discussed moment.)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Going Well

When a politician tells you things are going well, they most certainly are not.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New Song

Drunk And Armed, my music project, has released the 4th track to the politician E.P. called Cranial Rectal Embedment.




The song title was suggested by the Author Morris Berman, author of Dark Ages America (see Also) and other titles.  His latest book is Why America Failed.

See Here for Downloads.

More Drunk and Armed songs may be found Here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

No Demands

From Occupy Wall Street’s demand? No demands:
“You can make demands, but I’ve seen coalition after coalition marching and marching and making demands, yelling mostly, and then going home,” said Janet Kobren, an experienced activist who left Occupy Wall Street’s San Francisco outlet to join the New York hub.
“Who are they talking to?” Kobren, 68, asked of protestors who habitually stand outside barricaded government offices asking for something specific. “I see them as kind of teenagers saying, ‘I want, I want,’ to their parents.”
Kobren reflected the purist Occupy Wall Street philosophy: that there’s no point demanding change from the government or the financial industry when those institutions are rotten. “We need to do it (bring change),” she said.
Nicely said.  (Obviously some of the older generations get it.)  Other than "drop dead" what else can one say?  The government and large corporations that back it have no legitimacy whatsoever.  The federal government does nothing for (but a lot to), and corporations, especially the financial sector, are nothing but parasites to the average citizen.  Demanding something from them is like asking a tapeworm to stop feeding.  It isn't going to happen--so why bother?  The best response is to turn away and make something that excludes their sort altogether by its definition.

I believe the success of OWS (so far) and the miserable failure of the Tea Party (by which I mean the original concerned citizens who comprised it before it was co-opted by the Republican Party) is due to this fundamental difference in premise. The Tea Party went on and on about the Constitution, but for many it is a document that has no real meaning--especially those to whom it was entrusted. Legitimacy dies when values are only paid lip service.  Who gives a crap about something over 200 years old that has no real relevance to modern issues?  Only naive "geezers" apparently (as evidenced by the lack of support from youth or even middle aged).  By definition, there is no future there.  They are "past it."  The Twentieth Century is over.  Get on with it.

OWS is what it is.  Perhaps its appeal represents a foundation for resilient communities?  (I will concede some of the original members of the Tea Party, and conservatives in general, may already by well on their way as well--as a reaction.  The way is forward.)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Public Megaproject Overruns: Error or Lie?

As I've disclosed previously, in my real life, part of my job as an (un-)civil engineer revolves around estimating construction costs for heavy civil/transportation/marine projects.  These projects include small projects that I design, and sometimes work on the construction side, and $100M+ projects of which I am a team member.  One of the professional requirements for such work is the identification and mitigation of risks.

Risk based estimating, as opposed to traditional estimating approaches, attempts to proactively recognize threats and opportunities to a project's scope, schedule and/or budget. In this process, known and unknown risks are assigned relative weights as some will impact the project to a greater extent than others. Identifying risks (and opportunities) will also keep management and executives from being surprised as the project progresses. Certain risks are ongoing, whereas others pass with time. Although unlikely, a major earthquake could occur at any time, whereas a high bid cannot occur at the end of construction.

Risk assessment and management is something we constantly do everyday. Nobody would cross a street without looking for traffic, and managing projects should be no different. Regardless of the size of the project, risk may be both quantitative and qualitative. Market conditions pose a risk to the cost of a project. The loss of key personal is more difficult to assess numerically. Risk is something that should be assessed continuously (or at least daily). Once a risk is identified, it should be documented. Likewise, if a risk is retired, it should be removed and the reason(s) for doing so noted. Therefore, to be effective, a risk registry is a living document that must be utilized throughout the life of a project. In order for it to be proactive, it must be acted upon. A risk is an issue that has not yet occurred; an issue is a risk with a 100% probability of occurrence; and an action item is the implementation of the mitigation plan. A transportation analogy is defensive driving.

One advantage of risk based estimating, as contrasted to traditional estimating approaches, is the estimate is given as a range of values rather than a singular number. As the design progresses, the range is narrowed. As with traditional estimating, it is important that risk based estimates are not skewed due to pressure to advance a project. Unfortunately, when it comes to public megaprojects, which I'll define as projects with over $100M in costs, there is a tremendous amount of political pressure to downplay the impacts of risk.  There is a great deal of research on under-reporting projects costs by Professor Bent Flyvberg.  For more background his seminal paper Underestimating Costs in Public Works Projects Error or Lie? is essential.

In my experience and as shown with extensive analysis by Professor Flyvberg, the riskiest projects, no matter the size, are those where something that was previously unknowable becomes exposed through the work process.  Examples are building remodels and underground work.   For example, during a building remodel, asbestos or mold may be discovered when a wall is removed, therefore leading to costly abatement work.  In the case of underground work, the geotechnical boring test pattern may have missed a large rock that is only removable by expensive means, or contaminated soil may be discovered.  (Change orders are always more expensive than work as it was originally bid.)  There are several means of mitigating these unknowns.  More preliminary work, during design, may help to identifying potential risks, such as performing more borings.  Another means is for the owner to take the risk from the contractor by a contracting tool such as force account, where the owner's representative directs the work methods.

There are also more general methods to mitigate risk, such as contract cost escalation clauses, which ensure that the contractor is protected from material and/or fuel cost hikes, therefore eliminating the need for hedging bids to account for future price shocks.

Another method for estimating the cost of risks is to create a risk model that uses a Monte Carlo simulation to develop a range of costs.  The probability of occurrence and the cost range of possible risks (and opportunities) are fed into the model and a random number generator computes the range of costs from best to worst case.  This is considered a cost-risk model.  For example, hypothetically, if the project was constructed 100 times, and the 60th percentile is chosen as a baseline this means the amount of funds budgeted for a certain project will correspond to the 60th highest cost per the model.  However, for public projects, this strategy is subject to manipulation as the percentile chosen will dramatically alter the cost estimate as it is released to the public.  A case in point is as follows.

In Seattle, as the residents of Washington State are aware, the earthquake damaged Alaskan Way Viaduct is being replaced, not with an elevated structure in-kind, but with a highly expensive deep bore tunnel.  The project has already started.  A cost-risk model, using the base estimate, has been developed.  The cost of the project, as reported to the public, is based on the results of the 60th percentile, which is the current policy used agency wide.  Although the 60th percentile might be a conservative estimate for rebuilding an interchange, it is rather low for an underground project with many known unknowns and unknown unknowns.  As Professor Flyvberg has convincingly demonstrated, tunnel projects worldwide are the projects that most susceptible to underestimating costs.  One reason, other than the nature of the projects, are these types of projects often allow politicians and others an opportunity to make their mark in a big way.  At the same time, the policy makers responsible are usually long gone by the time the final cost come due, so their ego is appeased and they do not have to deal with the fallout from trying to pay for it.  The deep bore tunnel is another such case.  Since tax receipts are falling, this project is taking funds that could be used to repair roads and other less glamorous, but necessary, transportation work.

It isn't only economists that use statistics to lie.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lying with Statistics

There's nothing so easy as Lying with Statistics (which should be required high school reading).  Government statistics have been so skewed that it is difficult to see if any of them have any resemblance to economic reality.  Financial Armageddon features a good example regarding the supposed gains in September consumer spending. From Alternative Universe, which concludes:
The truth? The entire gain was "seasonal adjustment." All of it. In other words, in actual dollars there was not only no increase there was a net decrease in sales of approximately five percent - not annualized either, month-over-month!
Put that in your economic pipe and smoke it.  
Indeed. It's best not to believe the hype.  For more examples, the Shadow Government Statistics site is an excellent source.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lessons From Barcelona

Barcelona, the city which was at the epicenter of the anarcho-syndicalist CNT-FAI before and during the Spanish Civil War, has a few lessons worth listening to with respect to organizing movements without (the hindrance of) leaders. I've long maintained that the only true political difference is not Right and Left, but rather authoritarians and anti-authoritarians.  In most cases, the former boils down to the presence of politicians and centralization, whereas the latter does not. Unfortunately, during the blood-drenched Twentieth Century, only the Iberians seemed to understand this fundamental difference and even then they fell into the trap of aligning themselves with so-called "progressives" like Stalinists, who quickly set about the undermine the revolution of 1936.  (It ended, during May 1937 in Barcelona.)  Since the 1930s, Barcelona has seen a number of other movements with an anti-authoritarian bent, so the older generations there indeed have something worthwhile to pass on (as opposed here with geezers droning on and on about boring stories of peace, love and acid).  Since May 15th, the citizens of Barcelona have organized along neighborhood lines, and appear to have developed means of keeping any political leaders from emerging.  Here an excerpt from Reflections for the US Occupy Movement that anyone involved in OWS should reflect upon:
All of these movements constitute lessons learned that can be passed down to aid future struggles. So often, the mistakes that defeat a revolutionary movement are repeated. The neighborhood assemblies in Barcelona serve as spaces where people from different generations can share their perspectives, where those with experience in past struggles can collectivize that experience and turn it into communal property. In the beginning, the organizers of the 15M movement presented their protest model as something ultra-modern, with more references to Twitter than to the country’s rich history of social movements. This model was rejected by many in Barcelona, especially older people or those who had already participated in a previous movement. People preferred to build off their own tradition of struggle, while taking advantage of the new situation and adapting certain features of the 15M model to their use.
The historical memory of past instances of bureaucratization, co-optation by grassroots politicians, and pacification have already served to help the ongoing movement avoid a number of pitfalls. Despite attempts to centralize them, the neighborhood assemblies remain independent and decentralized, allowing for a broader, freer participation, and meaning that politicians who attempt to take advantage of these spaces are at a disadvantage because they cannot operate openly without being kicked out of the assemblies.
As groups like MoveOn.org and former civil rights activists turned politicians attempt to co-opt OWS for the Democratic Party, the lessons of Spain offer much needed wisdom to keep vile, disgusting politicians at bay.  (Certainly the original founders of the Tea Party and many of those suckered into voting for Obama might have also benefited from such advice, but that ignores the reality that far too many are authoritarians and therefore crave being told what to do.)

The piece goes on to identify further problems with the 99% concept that is worth reading:
The United States is also a country with inspiring histories of popular struggle. But it is a country with a case of social amnesia like no other. It seems that to a certain extent, the Occupy Wall Street actions exist more as a trend than anything else. The slight extent to which they draw on, or even make reference to, earlier struggles, even struggles from the past twenty years, is worrying. The fact that a present awareness of US history would shatter certain cornerstones of the new movement’s identity, for example this idea of the 99% that includes everyone but the bankers in one big, happy family, is not a sufficient excuse to avoid this task. The historical amnesia of American society must be overcome for a struggle to gain the perspective it needs.
There will always be reactionaries, not to mention authoritarians, and ignoring this certainty is done at one's peril.  However, this comment is telling in that most Europeans simply do not understand the cultural and social realities of US society and its cities in particular.   In Barcelona, neighborhood represent a force.  In the US, due it nature as a country of transients, most neighborhoods are just a collection of buildings.  It's a little hard to organize along such local lines when most do not even bother to know most of their neighbors.  Since much of what OWS is about is establishing tribes, as discussed in prior posts, the 99% tactic is a means of drawing people with common concerns and interests into a centralized focus.  It's about connections.  Technological means, like social media, are a poor substitute for face to face contact, but there are few other means for establishing relationships.

Anyway, ignore the past at your peril, but also do not try to make it fit your current circumstances.   The way is forward.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Nation State is Irrelevant

When something ceases to have meaning, it becomes irrelevant.  The decline of the nation state is no exception.  (See my earlier posts regarding fourth generation warfare, or 4GW, for more details.)  It has made the national government irrelevant.  Hence, the reason for the Occupy Wall Street movement having no focus on Washington D.C.  (The "other" Washington as it is called here in Washington State.)  The youth understand, even if it is not articulated, that appeals to the government are meaningless.  Leaders are no better than pimps. The lack of a leadership and hence a cohesive message from Occupy Wall is partly due to this reality.  It's hard to know where you're going when the only view is the wreckage from behind.  They know what doesn't work, but yet have not figured out what does.  It all boils down to the final realization that Voting is Worthless.  Obama's betrayal of his youthful followers, who are feeling like Chumps about now, was the final straw.

Regardless of their political slant, including those who do support OWS, most of the older generations just don't seem to get it.  Examples are Here and Here.  (Of course, there are some like John Robb who truly get it.  See also Here.)  They chastise and cajole the OWS participants for not putting pressure on their elected representatives and to vote.  (As if those crooks had anything to offer.  Indeed, even being in the same room is enough to make one feel tainted.)  Some even want OWS participants to run for public office, which is the equivalent of suggesting one become a whore.  All of these things are "so twentieth century,"  and the youth know it.  An entirely new social order is needed, and it is not government socialism or libertarian quackery.  People have to take responsibility for their lives at the local level.  The nation state will do nothing.  OWS, if it has to have meaning, is about forming new primary loyalties.

Also, in case you are interested, my site dedicated to propaganda art is featuring OWS-related art at this time.  Some of it is quite good.  See Here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fiat Money

Among hoarders of gold and silver, there is an inherent distrust in fiat money, which is backed by nothing but faith in the economic system.  A lack of faith essentially makes money worth less.  We are obviously seeing that problem as central banks in Europe and the US create more money to prop up their rotten banks.  These actions leads to a lack of faith.  But wait, some may say, why is inflation so low?  Sure the official inflation rate is low, but that only has meaning if you want to purchase a flat screen T.V. or some such nonessential item.  Food and gas, as anyone who has to feed a family or put gas in the car knows, has shot through the roof in recent years (with the exception of the demand destruction that occurred in late 2008, of course).  The official inflation rate is only so low because it excludes anything you actually need to survive and because wages have not increased but actually dropped.  There is no hyperinflation as many fear because wages would need to increase dramatically and that is not happening.  (Although it has in China with the predictable results.) So we appear to get the worst: deflation of earnings and inflation of what we need to survive.  The breaking point has not quite arrived, but the next great shock will make 2008 look minor.

Once money is no longer trusted, what can take its place?  Well, the obvious answer is gold etc., but since very few people have much of it, alternative means of exchange will be necessary.  I suspect bartering, exchange and communal arrangements will become more common.  Now is the time to start thinking of those things.  What can you offer?  What do you need (as opposed to want)?  What can you scrounge?  These questions may become a very important considerations, and I would strongly suggest thinking about it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Who Needs Leaders?

My opinion has not really changed.  OWS will probably do very little to effect systemic change, but who gives a crap about that anyway?  What's exiting about it is the potential for a large number of people to reject the concept of leaders and do things for themselves.  It sets a good example for everyone not interested in licking the anus of authority figures.  (The rest, no matter their political leanings, are cattle.) Therefore,  a program is not needed, as political revolution is not really an objective anyway.  The halls of power can be negated instead.  Social revolution can be organic.  Why change something that fundamentally stinks, when you can create your own tribe instead?  Consumerism is a lie, but what lies beyond?  Maybe the anarcho-primitivists had the right idea after all.  (They make good street fighters, anyway.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

OWS: Will It Be Co-Opted?

Well, I admit that I am somewhat pleasantly surprised that OWS appears to be gaining some traction.  The question is whether or not it be co-opted by a desperate Democratic Party?  Doubtful, but if it stays leaderless, then it may have a chance of becoming something.  (If only to make the point that leaders are unnecessary.)  Stay tuned...

Read more Here.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Economics: Not A Real Science

I've long maintained that economics is not a real science, rather it is merely ideology (or maybe a really, really lame religion, if you prefer) masking as science. There are several reasons for this observation.  For example, competing economic systems, like Marxism and Capitalism, are consistent within their own scheme, yet contradictory with each other.  In a real science, like chemistry, this would be analogous to having a different reaction when combining bleach and ammonia, depending upon whom mixed it.  Also, in no real science, could a practitioner get their predictions so completely wrong and not be completely discredited.  But not economics!  Compare and contrast the recent announcement of neutrinos being measured to travel the faster than light and the reluctance of some physicists to even be associated with the results, compared to the likes of Greenspan, who is incredibly still taken seriously by some.  This is more reminiscent of an ideology, where if the figurehead is proven wrong, just changes the "facts" to match.  This reminds me of the the Soviet Union banning quantum research, as it contradicted the dialectic, until the development of the atomic bombed showed that it was undeniably real.  Other than data collection, which is horribly skewed in certain areas such as unemployment data, economics has very little to offer that could be compared to a real science.

However, I am willing to cut a little slack toward some economists that are keenly aware of deficiencies in economics.   John Kay's reminder to fellow economists that the territory is not the map, regarding the innate flaws of computer modeling of complex systems, is one such example.  (Indeed, it's a reminder that real scientists could use from time to time as well.)  I also follow construction economics, and find that most of the economists involved are worth taking seriously.  (Probably because the construction industry that bankrolls their research would not stand for anything that hurt their business--unlike banks which are guaranteed a government bailout when they fail.  I can't image the likes of Kiewit putting up with the kind of mediocre crap put forth by the federal reserve and academic economists of similar ilk.)  Combined with BLS data, I even use their research in my work of estimating the costs of small to $100M+ heavy civil/structural/marine construction projects, and I have made a name for myself by doing so.  For the most part, though, I have very little use for this so-called "science."

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Ideological Crisis

John Robb is absolutely correct that capitalism is facing an ideological crisis similar to that which resulted in the collapse of communism 20 years ago.  Although culturally speaking, capitalism as a means of economic exchange is probably not going anywhere (just as authoritarianism in Russia), it's ideological basis is under assault as confidence in its resultant system erodes.  In addition, governments (to varying degree) have been "hollowed out" by globalism, so there is really nothing left to step up to fill its place.  The only recourse is to switch one's orientation to "primary loyalties" as described by William S. Lind in his past writings.  In the West, much like other parts of the world, the result will be division into smaller entities than the current nation-state arrangement.  The question is how small will it go?

Friday, October 07, 2011

Tired of Being Dominated

Slovakia Loses Zeal for Euro, Putting Bailout Plan at Risk.   Maybe they're tired of being dominated?

Bloomberg tells ‘Occupy Wall Street’ to lay off banks.  If Bloomberg dislikes you, then you have at least one thing going for you.

Dumping the American Dream.  Into the sewer where it belongs.

Missing The Point

In Confronting the Malefactors, Paul Krugman misses the point: politicians are scum.  Democratic support, as the other party of crooks and liars, will only destroy any potential effectiveness of OWS (which is of course, the whole point--and will likely succeed).

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Occupy Wall Street, 2 Views

RE: Occupy Wall Street, 2 Views:
Occupy Wall Street, another futile peasants’ protest.
OCCUPY WALL STREET (the theory).
In a sense both views are correct as we still do not know where it may lead, but I believe the former is more realistic.  Only widespread insurrection and/or economic collapse will break this oligarchical system.  For the latter, one need do nothing.

Still protesting is far better than voting.  At least it does not validate the status quo.

I will give the open source theory credit: it can certainly work as such, but not likely here.  The US is not Egypt.  People here are not willing to get shot.  Hence, the long slow Fall will most likely be the means to end the power of kleptocrats.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Bigness

Size creates complexity.  Economic collapse can therefore been seen as a consequence of "bigness."  Fifty years ago Leopold Kohr warned of the perils of large states and advocated smaller political entities.  See Disunion Now: A Plea for a Society based upon Small Autonomous Units.

Think

Those who think, don't do; those who do, don't think.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Financial Crisis II Electric Boogaloo (Part 4)

Home-buying season the worst in at least 50 years. Total bust.

Market nerves hit Morgan Stanley. Will it fail?

Is Capitalism Preparing to Bury Itself?   More like eating itself, just like communism.

Markets suffer large quarterly falls.  How low will they go?

Cracked China?  What nobody wants to consider.

Wall Street protesters gain traction — but now what?  Incoherent as usual, the opposition is as intellectually bankrupt as the establishment.   Granted, their protest is vastly superior to voting.  At least they are trying, but they need more. Revolution requires a program and this bunch has none.  (It does not require a leadership.)  Also, if the most they can get to show up is 2000 people (in a city of millions and a country of 300 million) then it most certainly does not look like Egypt.   (Not to mention that the largest turn out was really a side-demo against police brutality.)